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VOL. 128 | NO. 91 | Thursday, May 09, 2013

African-American TV Station Broadens Presence

By Andy Meek

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A new set of programming on Comcast Channel 31 geared toward Memphis’ African-American community is continuing to broaden its presence in the city.

The Carter Malone Group has developed a website for the venture, called MUTV1, which is short for Memphis Urban Television 1. In addition to serving as its agency of record, The Carter Malone Group CEO Deidre Malone also has a show on the channel called “Dialogue with Deidre.”

Dr. Ivory Taylor – a well-known businessman and owner of the Downtown drug store Taylor Brown Apothecary – is chairman and CEO of TBJ-Media Communications Group LLC, which operates MUTV1. TBJ is based at 568 Poplar Ave., and MUTV1 is operating as an “urban multimedia communications company.”

Taylor said the website, which is accessible at www.mutv1.com, serves as an extension of the television station’s content, the focus of which is on positive, educational and informative news and information for an audience not being significantly served by other local broadcast outlets.

“We’re long overdue for a network for African-American culture.”

–Dr. Ivory Taylor
Owner, Taylor Brown Apothecary

Taylor himself hosts a show on the station called “Say it Loud.” MUTV1 describes Taylor’s show as “seeking to solve some of the age-old problems affecting this ethnic group, both locally and nationally, such as ineffectual health care, poor quality of life, wanton violence, cash-strapped neighborhoods and a miniscule presence in the business community.”

The station’s programming streams live from the website. Taylor said the reception from the community thus far has been positive and that the station now is working to boost its sales and advertising efforts.

“We’ve got some 600,000 people here of color, and there is no black TV network that talks to them,” Taylor said. “We’re long overdue for a network for African-American culture. That’s why we’re here. We’re trying to fill in the missing spaces in the African-American community. There are so many good things that are just not being televised.”

The station itself is seven months old. The MUTV1 programming focus is on substantive topics, and director of TV and broadcast programming Eddie Jones praised the new website’s potential.

He said it is intended to “reflect the vision of the many people who have been overlooked while pursuing their dreams.”

Malone was approached by two of MUTV1’s show hosts to help with the public relations and marketing for the station.

“When I met with Ivory to truly grasp the vision of where they want to go with programming, I thought we could help them build awareness,” Malone said. “Our first step was to rebuild their website so viewers can have an option to learn more about MUTV1’s programming and interact with their program hosts through social media.

“This station is important, because it gives minorities another opportunity to continue important dialogue about their community through a visual media. In the African-American community we have several newspapers and one African-American owned radio station. MUTV1 has the potential to be a great community TV station with the right support.”

Guests who have appeared on Malone’s show have ranged from Food Network star and Memphis native Gina Neely to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

“I can appreciate Ivory and his partners’ entrepreneurial spirit,” Malone said. “I’m excited to be a part of what has the potential to be something great for Memphis.”

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